A human resources MBA can be the ticket to a lucrative career, especially if you choose your job and industry carefully. Even for the same position, annual average pay can vary by $25,000 or more, depending on company or organization and location.
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Choose one of these ten highest-paying human resources jobs to ensure a fulfilling career with good compensation. (Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Salary.com)
#10 – Employment, Recruitment, and Placement Manager
Median annual salary: $56,110
Employment, recruitment and placement managers oversee how and when a company hires employees. They direct their team on where to find talent, how to screen candidates and how to decide which candidates to pursue. Employment, recruitment, and placement managers must have good discernment skills and an eye for recognizing high-quality potential employees. They should have excellent interviewing skills and the ability to work closely with the hiring managers in different departments within the company. Most employment, recruitment and placement managers work under an HR manager or a director of human resources.
#9 – International Human Resources Associate
Average annual salary: $62,400
An international human resources associate plays a generalist role within a company’s human resources department, but with global responsibility. Such an associate may post jobs for staff, assist in recruiting efforts by screening candidates, review benefits and compensation packages and engage in other standard human resources activities. The difference between a human resources associate based at company headquarters and one who is international is that the latter must have a solid grasp of employment markets around the world—the cultural aspects, benefits and compensation, and how to best go about screening candidates. This is why they are paid more than national human resources associates. It also helps to be multilingual and live or have lived in the countries the associate is focusing on.
#8 – Executive Recruiter
Average annual salary: $78,785
Executive recruiters, sometimes called headhunters, look for individuals to fill senior executive job positions, generally at corporations or nonprofits. Executive recruiters need to know their industries well enough to be able to convince prospects, who are often employed at other companies, to come work for a competitor or a different corporation. Executive recruiters interview candidates for skill and cultural fit, presenting the perfect candidates to the corporation seeking to employ them. The executive search industry can be incredibly profitable for those who are successful at finding candidates to fill positions. They are often paid on retainer, paid in full when the candidate is presented to the company or paid a portion, up to percent, of a hired candidate’s first-year compensation.
#7 – Labor Relations Specialist
Median annual salary: $83,298
Labor relations specialists are the bridge between the corporations where they work and the labor unions that company employees participate in. Labor relations specialists must be experts in local, state and federal labor issues, so that they can devise contracts that adhere to the laws and politics of labor. A labor relations specialist also is a representative for the company in any legal action and sometimes public relations. The labor relations specialist must always keep a close eye on regulations, ensuring that his or her business is compliant at all times. Negotiating skills, the ability to read, write and interpret legal documents, and good communication abilities are a must.
#6 – Human Resources Consultant
Average annual salary: $87,000
Human resources consultants help corporate managers devise policies, employment structures, benefit issues, performance incentives, and anything else that corporations need help with. The consultant, usually a contractor, will come in as an independent expert who provides much-needed insight into a company’s human resources problems. An HR consultant analyzes a company’s human resources situation—its labor- and employee relations, the success of its employment system, how well benefits are panning out, and more—and recommends productive changes to that system. Oftentimes, HR consultants come from a background of in-house human resources work and have accumulated years of experience in their profession. Human resources consultants should be competent across the board of human resources skills.
#5 – Training and Development Manager
Median annual salary: $87,700
Training and development managers are in charge of all facets of employees’ training, education within the corporation, and career development. They organize orientation sessions for new employees, training sessions for all employees, personal development courses and any other in-person training that employees require to build their careers. Training and development managers are also in charge of composing any training collateral for staff, including manuals and books. People in this position must have excellent people skills, as they commonly hold meetings that require employee interest and motivation. Training and development managers should also have deep knowledge of the laws and compliance requirements within their workplace, so that they can keep employees up to date.
#4 – Compensation and Benefits Manager
Median annual salary: $94,291
Compensation and benefits managers are in charge of selecting and implementing the compensation and benefits programs for their corporations. Such managers use their grasp of corporate policy, insurance, and different benefits programs to pick the perfect programs for their company’s employees. They review and modify compensation and benefits programs, making sure such programs enable their business to attract and retain top talent. Compensation and benefits managers must have an excellent grasp of both pay and perks—how they work, how they must be allocated and matching what employees demand with the company’s budgetary constraints. A compensation and benefits manager generally has at least five years of experience in the field.
#3 – Human Resources Manager
Median annual salary: $96,130
A human resources manager is an HR generalist who oversees staffing, benefits, training, labor relations, compensation and all other components of a company’s human resources department. HR managers ensure that all procedures are compliant with both company policies and business laws. Human resources managers spearhead teams of recruiters and other specialists, create and facilitate projects, tackles problems and communicate with the director and executive level of a corporate management team. HR managers generally have at least five years of human resources experiences and come from a generalist background, or have the ability to competently juggle an array of human resources tasks.
#2 – Human Resources Director
Median annual salary: $142,860
A human resources director is in charge of all human resources activity in a company. That includes creating and implementing company-wide policies, recruitment and retention of employees, insurance, pensions, promotions, the termination of employees and benefits. HR directors also study the industry to devise a compensation system that both attracts talent and takes the employer’s cash flow into consideration. An HR director ensures the morale of existing employees by designing programs and benefits plans that keep employees motivated and working hard. In order to fit personnel activities within the company’s strategy, the human resources director must also ensure that all activities fit within the company’s budget. HR directors generally have around a decade of experience in the human resources field, and many get promoted into the position from an HR manager post.
#1 – Chief HR Officer/Vice President of Human Resources
Average annual salary: $214, 427
The Chief HR Officer is in charge of all of the human resources systems, policies and goals within a company. The CHRO oversees every aspect of the human resources department, from recruiting and hiring to training and development, as well as contracts, labor relations, benefits, services to employees, disputes, policy creation, and more. The CHRO, as part of the executive management team, reports to the CEO and is intimately involved with the strategic direction of the company. The Chief HR Officer should have one or two decades of experience in positions of increasing responsibility in corporate human resources, as well as well-honed decisionmaking and judgment skills.